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Registration Now Open for
2017 Climate Change Conference

Four million people rely on the Chattahoochee River for their drinking water, including 70% of the residents in metro Atlanta. As the state’s most heavily utilized waterway, the Chattahoochee is essential for recreation, power generation, wastewater assimilation, and crop irrigation, among other uses.

Join us at the first-ever conference focused exclusively on climate change effects in the watershed as we explore solutions for a resilient future for all who depend on the Chattahoochee River.

Meet leading scientists and experts who will share knowledge of changing climate conditions, impacts to human and ecological interests, risk assessment and resiliency planning tools and innovative measures for mitigation and adaptation.

See Change Video Project – View Short Films Now!

Do you See Changes in the Chattahoochee River watershed? The Chattahoochee River drains an immense area of 8,770 square miles — and we’re looking for people who can talk about the changes they’ve seen in the watershed over time.

Whether it’s the wildfires that burned in the Blue Ridge Mountains, low water flows in backyard streams, flooding in urban neighborhoods or extreme hot temperatures, we are interested in hearing stories from the people who live, work and play near the Chattahoochee River.

We’d like to share your stories online — and with your permission — use some of the stories in an upcoming documentary.  Learn more here>>>

Drought – Good news and bad news

September 7 – the Environmental Protection Division announced changes to the Georgia’s Drought Response Level.  Twelve counties that rely on Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River for drinking water are now in Level I.

In Level 1 Drought Response, water utilities must conduct public information campaigns to explain drought conditions and the need to conserve water.

Why are we still talking about drought?   Lake Lanier still remains 5.5 feet below full pool.  That level and drought conditions that linger in the state could change in the next week due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Irma’s arrival.

While you may now water your lawn any day of the week, the law still requires landscape watering only between 4 PM and 10 AM—or after the sun goes down and before it comes up.

Please use water wisely wherever you use water!

September 1, 2017 – There is good news and bad news about drought in the Chattahoochee River Basin.

In early July, the U.S. Drought Monitor announced that the persistent drought patch in the Chattahoochee’s headwaters was gone.  A few weeks later, all of Georgia was ‘drought free.’

But it was short-lived.  In September, “abnormally dry” conditions returned to the lower Chattahoochee River basin and other parts of Georgia.

Lake Lanier—THE source of water for the Chattahoochee River and the metro Atlanta area—remains over five feet below full pool.  Because of these conditions, mandatory watering restrictions are still in place in these “Level 2” counties.

There is reason for optimism.  Right now, the long-term September through November weather forecast suggests we may be in store for above normal rainfall.


July 25, 2017 – Thankfully you don’t need to water your lawn because it’s raining. But Lake Lanier—THE source of water for the Chattahoochee River and the metro Atlanta area—remains over five feet below full pool.  And it’s July.  We could still have a dry fall.  Please continue to conserve water.  If you live in these “Level 2” counties, mandatory watering restrictions are still in place.

June 23, 2017 – As of mid-June, the Chattahoochee River basin has not kicked the drought that began a year ago.  Drought conditions steadily worsened between the summer of 2016 and until recent late spring rain significantly eased drought conditions.  Recent rains have provided much needed relief as Lake Lanier’s level rose 4.28 feet between January 1 and June 6; more than 3 feet of that increase took place in April and May.  Nevertheless, the lake is the lowest it has been for mid-June in nine years at nearly seven feet below full pool.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate drought conditions linger in Lumpkin, White and Habersham counties that drain directly into the Chattahoochee River and Lake Lanier. Outdoor water use restrictions remain in place for metro Atlanta communities. Even as the drought eases and rainfall is likely, please continue to use water wisely…there is No Time To Waste.

 


May 3, 2017 – Today the Georgia Environmental Protection reminded everyone who relies on the Chattahoochee River and Lake Lanier for drinking water—which includes millions of Georgians—to conserve water.

It rained a lot in Atlanta the other day.  But when it rains in the city, that rain does not always fill up our drinking reservoir: Lake Lanier remains nearly nine feet below pool.

Drought, what drought?  According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the only spot in the entire nation in Extreme Drought hovers over the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River.

EPD reminds us that the Atlanta area remains in a Level 2 Drought Response, which means:

  • If you must water your yard, outdoor landscape watering is permitted twice a week based on the even/odd schedule: Even and unnumbered addresses may only water on Wednesday and Saturday between 4PM-10AM, and Odd addresses may only water on Thursday and Sunday between 4PM-10AM.
  • You may not use a pressure washer or wash hard surfaces such as streets and sidewalks.
  • You may not use water for ornamental purposes such as fountains.
  • Fire hydrants can only be used for firefighting, public safety and flushing.
  • Non-commercial car washes—for example, for fundraisers—are not allowed.Learn more about Level 2 Drought Response here. And please continue to use water wisely…there is No Time To Waste.

With frequent rain in recent months it’s hard to believe that the Chattahoochee ­River basin is still experiencing DROUGHT conditions; that is because we started the rainy season in a deep drought and not enough rain has fallen to make up the difference.

Lake Lanier remains 10’ below full pool.  The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that 17 counties that depend on Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River remain at Level 2 Drought Response, at which time the following outdoor water uses are prohibited:

  • Outdoor irrigation is permitted twice a week on the odd/even schedule.
    • Even and unnumbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday between 4PM-10AM and Odd addresses may water on Thursday and Sunday between 4PM-10AM,
  • washing hard surfaces such as streets and sidewalks,
  • water for ornamental purposes such as fountains,
  • the use of fire hydrants except for firefighting, public safety and flushing, and
  • non-commercial vehicle washing including fundraising car washes, and non-commercial pressure washing.

Learn more about Level 2 Drought Response here (link). And please continue to use water wisely…there is No Time To Waste.

Because of rain over the last couple of weeks (including January’s “snow” event), no Georgia counties are experiencing an Exceptional Drought now, however, water use restrictions are still in place. Read more here.


On November 17, 2016, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issued a release declaring a Level 2 Drought Response that limits outdoor watering to an odd/even (based on house numbers) schedule.


Most of northwest Georgia is under an extreme or exceptional drought. On September 9, 2016, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issued a release declaring a Level 1 Drought Response that encourages distribution of water conservation literature as well as restricted outdoor water use.  With winter fast approaching, little more is expected to be done by the state to alleviate the effects of the drought.

Below average rainfall is expected throughout most of the state for the remaining months of the year.  Here are three tips on ways you can save water now for use later:

  1. Fix leaks- fixing toilet leaks will save 73,000 gallons PER toilet annually
  2. Update fixtures- replace pre-1994 toilets with low-flow models to save 6,900 galls PER person PER toilet
  3. Update appliances- replacing pre-1993 clothes washing machine with a WaterSense model will save 3450 gallons at 4 loads PER week

 

 

 

Community Spotlight

Register for Love the Lake Open Regatta – September 8-10

The Southern Sailing Club will honor Chattahoochee Riverkeeper once again at this year’s Love the Lake Open Regatta on September 8-10. This three-day event will be held at Sunrise Cove Marina on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, GA. CRK supporters that are sailors and non-sailors alike are invited to join the event! Funds from this event will help support the programs in the Headwaters Office.

Register now!

RiverCHAT Newsletter
Fall 2017

Catch up with CRK by reading our Fall 2017 RiverCHAT Newsletter edition!  Read the full newsletter, click here!

Highlights include: Atlanta’s drought, a feature on Mary Anne Lanier, our new partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, groundbreaking improvements to water quality at Pilgrim’s Pride in Gainesville and more!